Lewis's Bearberry Specimen

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Lewis's Herbarium Specimen

To read the labels, point to the image.

interactive photo of a plant pressed, dried, taped to paper, and labeled

Courtesy Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia

Lewis's bearberry is his specimen No. 33. The label in his handwriting reads "an evergreen plant which grows usually in the open plains, the natives smoke its leaves mixed with Tobacco; called by the French engages Sacacommé.1 Since the species does not occur anywhere near Fort Mandan, it is possible that it was collected elsewhere by one of the Mandans and given to Lewis at the fort. Otherwise, it may have been part of the material sent to Lewis by Hugh Heney. Lewis sent it back east on the keelboat in the spring of 1805. It is now in the Lewis and Clark Herbarium, at the Academy of Natural Sciences, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


1. Moulton, 3:464. James L. Reveal, Gary E. Moulton, and Alfred E. Schuyler, "The Lewis and Clark collections of vascular plants: Names, types and comments," Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 149 (January 1999): 9.